WHYY-FM Sunday Specials


Every Sunday night at 10 p.m., WHYY brings you special programming from public media’s best producers.


February 2016

February 21
Civil Rights in America: Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall and Beyond

This program, hosted by Charles Dutton, examines the relevance and meaning of civil rights in the 21st century and the relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and the efforts of women, people of color and LGBT communities to expand traditional definitions of equality. The program features first-person narratives drawn from hundreds of hours of never-before-broadcast audio. Daryl Michael Scott, national president for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALAH) joins the program with other guests to discuss the broader implications of civil rights in America.
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February 28
Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio

This program examines the legacy of Black radio, with a special focus on Philadelphia’s legendary WDAS. Its story is one of a music that would have gone undiscovered, of Civil Rights and progress in the African-American community and of how radio has changed in the last century. Hosted by legendary Sound of Philadelphia music producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Kenny Gamble, the program features conversations with dj’s, radio professionals, record company executives, musicians, journalists and scholars. Listeners will hear first-person accounts of Civil Rights events and rare archival audio of Black radio from the 60s and 70s, including a 1964 interview with Malcolm X, just a few months before his assassination. The program’s soundtrack features R&B, jazz, gospel and soul hits from the 50s through the 80s, especially from the Sound of Philadelphia. Produced by Philadelphian, Yowei Shaw.
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March 2016

March 6
American Abroad

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March 13
Humankind: Epidemic of Gun Violence

The problem of gun violence in the US has been mired for decades in a bitter political stalemate. For some, it’s a solemn constitutional question, for others it revolves around the influence of gun manufacturers and its powerful lobby. For others, it’s about lifestyle in communities with a tradition of hunting. And for yet others, it may be the primal need to feel safe. This program attempts to look past the impasse to focus on a new framework for understanding this perplexing issue: public health. In the emergency room of Boston Medical Center, a large urban hospital, two veteran physicians talk about the complex and elaborate medical response triggered when a patient arrives with a gunshot wound. The program also considers the public health aspect of gun violence rarely talked about: most gunshot wounds in the U.S. are self-inflicted.
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March 20
Is Free Speech Threatened on Campus?

Protests have erupted on university campuses across the country with students speaking out against racial injustice and unwelcoming, sometimes hostile campus environments. But critics of these protests say their demands have gone too far, creating an atmosphere of intolerance of opposing or unpopular viewpoints. Are protestors silencing free speech or just trying to be heard? The motion to be debated is: free speech is threatened on campus. Arguing for it are writer and lawyer, Wendy Kaminer and Columbia University Professor of Linguistics, John McWhorter. Arguing against the motion are Yale University Professor of Philosophy, Jason Stanley and Shaun Harper, Founder of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at Penn.
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March 27
Court of Public Opinion: Trial Watching in America


April 2016

April 3
The Best Medicine for Heart Disease

This program follows the stories of people battling the biggest health threat known to humans — cardiovascular disease. Every 60 seconds someone in the US dies from heart disease. It’s the number one cause of death in this country, killing more people each year than all forms of cancer combined. This program takes you inside the labs, treatment facilities and homes of those closest to the disease. It dispels common myths, discusses little known causes and investigates the latest developments to help prevent, and maybe even reverse, the disease.
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April 10
America Abroad

In celebration of Shakespeare’s birth and death 400 years ago, both in April, and in conjunction with a major year-long exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.

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April 17
Shakespeare Becomes American: Shakespeare in Performance

This program explores how American Shakespeare has been shaped by the American experience. From the very beginning, Americans have sought to make Shakespeare an honorary citizen. Whether we have succeeded in that or not, one thing is clear. On the stage, within the realm of performance we Americans have certainly made Shakespeare our own, bringing to the performance of Shakespeare American passion, language and innovation. Hosted by Sam Waterston.
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April 24
The Father of the Man In America: Shakespeare in Education and Civic Life

After the American Revolution, there were real questions about whether America should adopt British culture and literature — including Shakespeare’s plays — or create its own. This program follows Shakespeare’s path in the years that followed. Hosted by Sam Waterston.
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May 2016

May 1
Shakespeare is a Black Woman: Shakespeare in American Politics

In 1849, disputes over British and American acting styles touched off a deadly riot. The most famous Black Shakespearean of the 19th century was an American who went to Europe after he saw Black actors arrested for performing Shakespeare in the US. In the 1980s, Shakespeare was drawn into battles over race and gender on college campuses. Hosted by Sam Waterston.
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May 8
America Abroad

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